HR Passing Cloud Sailing copy 2

Outer Shores' eight-passenger Passing Cloud.

Ships' shape
Outer Shores' eight-passenger Passing Cloud tours Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands in British Columbia. www.outershores.ca

Adventure Canada's 198-passenger Ocean Endeavour features an itinerary around Newfoundland and Labrador. www.adventurecanada.com

Size does matter here, as these ships offer accessibility to niche expeditions impossible for large cruise lines. Both vessels share commonalities. Sustainable environmentalism and culturally sensitive programs are intrinsic to their core and their owners act like ambassadors to Canada's wilderness, giving a sense of its true nature. Passengers tend to be learned intrepid travellers flexible to spontaneous changes, knowing they are not masters of the universe. For the parks, go to www.parkscanada.gc.ca and whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/ca.

A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2016 issue with the headline, "Close Encounters of the Canadian Kind," p. 58-61.

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